December 13, 2011

NetIQ Enables Efficient IT and Active Directory Administration for the City of Seattle

Secure, Consistent Active Directory Administration Model Supports User Needs and Enforces Data Integrity Across City Departments

Press Release


The City of Seattle's vision for directory services was a single organizational directory that provided departmental autonomy, improved security, efficient administration, consistent business processes, and administrative boundaries. The City initiated a project to implement roles-based administrative tools and migrate user and computer accounts into the new organizational directory. The project scope included almost all City departments, a total of 5,800 users and the migration of 5,300 computers.

The City of Seattle turned to NetIQ to help secure and maintain a recently deployed organizational Active Directory (AD) environment for most departments with an efficient administration model. The redesigned directory required the implementation of roles-based administration tools to provide proper access control within and across departments, a way to reduce the administrative overhead, and a way to improve data security and integrity for the City.

Seattle's Department of Information Technology led a project to evaluate a variety of AD security and administration tools for:

  • Managing a single "organizational forest" while accommodating some departments' higher security restrictions and regulatory constraints
  • Enabling some administrators to have full authority over their organizational unit (OU), though not at the domain level so as to maintain control across the AD environment
  • Alerting administrators to any unmanaged changes within AD to protect data integrity
  • Automated, controlled password resets to reduce calls to the help desk and reduce administrative overhead

"Manually managing users and computers across multiple directories was causing administration inefficiencies. Our investment in migrating to an organizational forest using Active Directory was the first step in improving our service levels. However, for Active Directory to be a business-enabler for our internal customers, we needed the right security and administration tools," said Jolene Luck, the IT Project Manager at the City of Seattle. "Our success factors include our ability to enable secure administration, provide departmental autonomy, reduce administrative overhead and maintain a pristine AD environment. With these capabilities, we do not need to provide full administration rights to all IT administrators to manage the user-driven requests."

The City of Seattle turned to NetIQ for a solution comprising NetIQ® Directory and Resource Administrator™, NetIQ Change Guardian™ for Active Directory, and NetIQ Secure Password Administrator. With NetIQ, the participating City of Seattle departments can now:

  • Manage all users, computers, and mailboxes from a single environment
  • Ensure individual departments can only administer and access their own directory objects
  • Alert on unmanaged change and create audit trails for changes
  • Granularly delegate Active Directory administration to ensure data integrity

"NetIQ best met our needs," continued Luck. "With NetIQ, we have increased our security, departmental autonomy, administrative boundaries, audit trails and data integrity through standards enforcement for all city departments."

"The City of Seattle recognized that in order to achieve their vision of a secure and efficient Active Directory environment, they needed management tools to fully support departmental administration autonomy without sacrificing enterprise administrative authority and control," said Ron Hardy, vice president of Products and Marketing at NetIQ. "We are pleased to partner with the City of Seattle to help make their vision a reality. With NetIQ solutions, the participating departments can provide richer, faster services for employees to better and more securely serve the citizens of Seattle."

About NetIQ

NetIQ is an enterprise software company with relentless focus on customer success. Leveraging its WorkloadIQ approach, NetIQ helps customers cost-effectively tackle complex information protection challenges such as FISMA, FDCC/SCAP, PCI DSS,HIPAA, SOX and NERC CIP and securely deliver and manage computing services across physical, virtual and cloud computing environments. For information on how our solutions yield reduced cost, complexity and risk, contact us.

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